Who gets control of your selfies when you die? Who can be entrusted with deleting your problematic tweets when you kick the bucket? Who gets access to your Facebook account? Well, the law is murky, but a bill flying through the state Legislature would clarify the matter in Florida.
State Sen. Dorothy L. Hukill’s SB 494 would allow people to clarify who can have access to their digital accounts once they pass on. It would allow Floridians, either through a will or an online tool, to specify who gets control of their internet accounts. The terms of service of many online services specify that only the original creator of the account can access it, with no exceptions.
Social media sites’ policies on what to do with an account after a user passes can vary greatly.
A similar bill failed to pass last year after internet service providers feared it would violate their users’ privacy. The newly revised bill eases those concerns by requiring people to specifically leave instructions behind.
The bill can be applied to everything from social media accounts like Twitter and Instagram to email and online bank accounts. People would also be able to spell out exactly what the custodians of their accounts are allowed to do with the information.
Hukill, in her private sector job, is an attorney specializing in estate planning. Eight other states have passed similar bills.
Today the bill passed unanimously in the Senate, 36-0. A House version has passed three committees without much opposition and has been placed on the calendar to be voted on by the entire House.